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Published 12th June 1998

Vol 39 No 12


A cardiac coup

Military dissidents may prove the most serious threat to General Abubakar's pledge to hand over to civilians in October

As enigmatic in death as in life, General Sani Abacha died suddenly in the early hours of 7 June. He left many Nigerians puzzling over whether it was his failing health or his fellow officers that finally ended his career. Some of his closest confidants insist he was poisoned yet others in Abuja think his poor health made a nocturnal heart attack entirely plausible. On such matters, the ruling generals remain inscrutable. The truth now lies buried in Kano.

Bienvenue a` Ouaga

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A week of crises and conflicts highlights the flaws in OAU peacekeeping plans

The Eritrean-Ethiopian border war, the army mutiny in Guinea Bissau and the sudden death of the Nigerian leader, General Sani Abacha, left the Organisation of African Unity summit ...

Counting chickens

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New money is allowing Cairo to embark on bold projects to increase the flow of the Nile

The present Sudan government stands for everything the Egyptian government dislikes and fears, including Islamist extremism, international terrorism, domestic instability, hostilit...

Keep on rollin'

The pressing need to increase water supply along the Nile’s 6,825 kilometres has nurtured various degrees of cooperation between ten states, several of which have strained re...

Brave new bank

The ADB has staved off crisis by yielding more power to non-African governments

Having pushed through a 35 per cent capital increase and new voting rules favouring Western shareholders, the African Development Bank’s Moroccan President, Omar Kabbaj, now ...

Of Kabbaj and King

One of African Development Bank President Omar Kabbaj’s greatest supporters is, we hear, King Hassan II. Kabbaj’s successful tenure at the ADB has done much to shore up...



Would-be leaders are preparing the ground: they include Chief of Staff João de Matos, Premier Fernando França van Dúnem and Washington Ambassador Antóni...

Masters of war

Mediation and fighting were both going on as we went to press: Eritrea and Ethiopia both accept the need for demarcation and demilitarisation and have even indicated they could acc...


The land conference on 24-25 June could turn into a fiasco, some insiders predict. White commercial farmers, the biggest losers if the government confiscates their land without com...

Cotton reel

The World Bank drive to privatise cotton is causing cross-border problems. Soon Côte d'Ivoire must choose from three bidders for Compagnie Ivoirienne de Développement ...